Nuh-uh! No take backs! YOU'RE wrong!
GM Kyle wrote:
James Jacobs may well be the cause of the deaths of more goblins than anyone in history.
How does he sleep at night?
With the FAQ regarding racial abilities, a lot changes. I don't feel like going through all of them, but tieflings, sylphs, and a few other races look more attractive now.
"Any other race your game allows should give you benefits that up your two most important stats, and help your magic and/or sneakiness. Ratfolk make excellent wizard ATs, for example, if you’re able to play one." -My super-awesome guide
It's easier to gain early entry, so if you have bonuses to your main stats (or at least no penalties) and can start the class early, you'll be stronger sooner. I'd totally play any of the races U.M. mentioned above.
I was disappointed about the ruling on sneak attack, but, as many will agree, sneak blasting is fun, but hardly the only thing you do as a trickster.
You have a number of ways to jack over your enemies, and it doesn't have to always be direct damage, either.
My favorite part is scouting/spying. It's intense and fun to sneak past all the obstacles and get intel that will help the party win, or sabotage a trap, etc.
Mary Yamato wrote:
I agree with you.
Skills work much better. Fly? Look at the classes that have it as a class skill. They can cast Fly. Class skill, measured as a skill.
The roguish classes got devalued by this change in mechanics, but they're still useful. They're just not the only character in the party likely to have a good Bluff check.
In most parties, they still are.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I accept your concession and will add this: Your kids have a decent shot at a middle class income. You clearly don't have the connections to do any more for them.
If they can read the tea leaves, and have the capital, they can do better. Perhaps they'll rise to the investor class. Maybe they'll be charming enough to be accepted at the country club. Who knows?
I can speak for myself, too. Winning the birth lottery is still the statistically best way to wealth.
Where did I imply that hard work and perseverance didn't improve your odds? They simply aren't a guarantee, especially in the last few decades.
And you're still playing the class envy violin. "Bad luck" means a crappy economy with little to no chance for meaningful advancement for the majority. You can be as ambitious as Madonna, if you like. If there's nothing there for you to aim at, you're stuck.
You may know your business better than anybody, but the boss's son will be giving you orders soon enough.
This is the problem we're seeing now. Not enough decent jobs out there. Most people I know don't dream of mansions and limos. They'd just like to have enough security to get by.
If you go straight from HS to minimum wage, you're not going to see a livable income for a very long time. That's just how it is.
I'm totally in favor of raising the minimum wage. An ambitious person might be able to save enough to take a few classes, or at least keep the rent paid.
It is. "Class envy" is the red meat thrown out by libertarians, Faux and Friends, etc., to justify the wholesale screwing of the working class. It seems that AD is doing OK, so anyone who isn't just isn't as incredibly smart and hardworking as he is, and is therefore unworthy of the big bucks.
Although, as you point out, those aren't the biggest factors in who does or doesn't get rich.
Stop ignoring the things that limit spellcaster's powers.
You know, I've played sor/wizs in lots of 3x and PF games, and this is something that GMs can overlook.
A lot of things have to go right when you cast a spell. If they don't, you can find yourself in a bad situation.
Casters don't always beat the enemy's defenses. Sometimes, the game-changing spell fizzles, or does less than you needed. Yeah, they've got other spells, but for the rest of this round, that's all.
+1. An 11 cha would give you 4 cantrips you wouldn't have to prepare as a wizard (maybe something from your opposed schools?) and 2 1st level spells. A 12 would give you another casting per day, and a bonus on those cha skills wizards don't get. 8 cantrips a day isn't much, but it's twice a good as 4! lol
You'll get cantrips with a 10, but 11 or 12 is better, as long as you're dipping, anyway.
I wouldn't drop the int, myself. You only need wis for perception (you're an elf, so it evens out) and will saves (you're stacking 2 and 2 at 2nd level, so it again doesn't really hurt much). You could drop your str to 7 and get 2 points to put in cha. If you took true strike, your strength wouldn't make much difference on those occasions when you attack.
Continuing my previous post, modular one-level adventures could work.
Important Person X could be a conduit to essential magic items that let them survive in these strange new places.
"An adventure for 18-19th level characters."
20th is special.
The shocking grasp spell goes off whether you hit or miss. If you miss you don't keep to keep trying until you hit.
Actually, no. You can hold the charge.
Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.
You know, just a few more single-level adventures, perhaps tied to a campaign setting, but not the adventure paths themselves, could work.
Once the party has hit 16th and saved the world from whichever threat was in the AP, and still wants to play, could get a message from Important Person X, asking them to come to location Y.
Important Person X has heard of the party, and needs their help with something no one else she knows of can handle. They teleport, learn of the threat, then go face it at location Z.
I don't know how Witchwar Legacy did, but I bet sales are consistent. I'm sure a lot of GMs use it after the APs, just to have something for their 17th level party, who don't want to just stop at 16th (I never do!).
Comparable modules for single-level adventures all the way to 20th would get used. Think of them as adventures for the jet set elite parties, who can go anywhere and do almost anything. One book = one level, in exotic and deadly places, with challenges they aren't all that optimized for...
The Witchwar Legacy is for a 17th level party. That's the highest level Paizo adventure I know of. I don't know how well it sold, but there haven't been any more, to my knowledge.
Too bad there are so few published adventures that go all the way to 20th. The game is complex and rounds can take forever with so much high level magic and combat going around, but it's a lot of fun, IMO. I was able to play a homebrew that got to 21st, and it was a blast.
I think some people are intimidated by high end play, because 1) it's complicated, and 2) someone has to design their own campaign. That's more than many GMs can handle. It takes a lot of creativity, system mastery, and time they may not have. If there were some modules you could take to get to 20th, I'd want to play them.
The thing here is that ATs don't get a lot of feats.
My advice is to not play a trickster like a full sor/wiz. You'll be disappointed. Play him like a magically-enhanced rogue, and he kicks ass.
Leave item creation to the full casters. They don't need feats like weapon finesse or AAP. If your party wizard or cleric can make you some magic items, great. Since you may have spells he doesn't, you can even help him with that, if you have some downtime.
Xavier's trickster is 3 caster levels behind a straight caster, and casts his spells at 1 caster level behind. He's not the best guy in the party for item creation feats, anyway. Let the "god" casters do that. With all the other things tricksters need to do, it shouldn't be his job.
What do they do, exactly? Here's an 11th level wizard trickster's spell list on 2 very different days (from the guide):
Today, Elfy is planning to sneak into Morbid Manor, home of the notorious Viscount Vainglory. Reputed to be a powerful mage, and possibly a vampire, the Viscount has been difficult to scry, and Elfy's intel makes him very uneasy about the rumors of extremely loyal servants and undead guardians of trapped, hidden, valuable treasures in the dungeon complex below the main building, and he doesn't know what he might find.
This is just a solo recon mission to scope the place out. If he's detected, he'll bug out immediately, and hopefully can’t be identified. Between pre-casting a number of spells beforehand, his Rod of Silent Spell, his Tricky Spells ability, and his Ring of Invisibility, he thinks he can pull it off without being seen or heard, and may not need to cast any spells at all while he's there. If there are any secrets there worth knowing, he's determined to learn them.
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 10; concentration +16)
Violence is certain. The cleric and witch will handle the support and control magic. Elfy will take point invisibly and spot. If they get to the compound where she's being held, Elfy's the best in the group for finding out where she is, and assessing (and maybe removing) the obstacles to her rescue. If they succeed, they'll be very close to 12th level, and considerably wealthier. Never a dull moment!
Wizard Spells Prepared
Different job, different magic.
Why is he better at this stuff than a straight wizard? Adding 4d6 sneak damage to a few blasts now and then isn't the answer. It's this:
Skills (Base: 50) acrobatics +19, appraise +10, bluff +7, climb +4, diplomacy +7, disable device +21, escape artist +19, fly +9, knowledge (arcana) +20, knowledge (all other knowledge skills) +10, linguistics +10, perception +14, sense motive +5, sleight of hand +19, spellcraft +20, stealth +24, swim +4, use magic device +13
I don't disagree about the kikko, but it lists a 20% spell failure. I prefer knowing all spells automatically work with light armor. Like you said, if your campaign allows it, go for it. I (and most people I play with) don't like the mix and match. "Katanas in Absalom? Maybe if there are some visiting Samurai. Otherwise, not likely. We make (European-style) weapons."
Oriental items are great in an oriental campaign, where the game is (or will be, hopefully) a little different, anyway. I'd like to see psions and wu jen again in Golarion. Just not in a European-inspired setting.
I look forward to the Asian and even Indian takes on future products, though.
Yup. Only characters that can cast Mage Hand and a 2nd level spell qualify. That trims it down to just a few classes.
I already gave my opinion on 3/4 (or is it 2/3?) casting classes. I don't care for them as tricksters because of the hit they take in combat viability.
Look at the chassis: You get sor/wiz BAB and hp. You get 2 good saves. You get a boatload of class skills, but unless you're an int-based caster, you can't keep all the most important ones maxed.
Bards suck because of their spell list. Not conducive to being a super-scout. Their BAB at 20th is 12. That's just lame.
Same for magi. They get good blasts, but only up to 6th level spells, and they're missing a bunch that really work for the sneaky magical scout.
Ninja/Sor or Rogue/Wiz loses little, by comparison. The rog/wiz super-scout with AAP, great light armor, and a really magical weapon has what it takes to survive an ambush and flank when his friends catch up, as Xavier related.
The other end of the spectrum is the ninja/sor. Charisma works for ki powers and spells. They're also as charming as any bard. They're better for the "hang back and spam sneak attack spells" thing, especially once they have Improved Invis. I just don't think that's all that great.
I much prefer the scouty version. They can go places and do things other characters can't do nearly as well, and start doing it before they even enter the class.
We've already noted the superiority of an enhanced mithral chain shirt compared to Mage Armor, or even +8 bracers. If taking a feat means you can cast spells in armor that's much better than Mage Armor, it's worth it. +9 armor bonus that's on all the time, and a +5 to a +15 stealth bonus? Yes, please!
I think that's definitely the best way to do a sorcerer AT. I just have a problem with "I'm a sorcerer, but I use int. instead of cha."
Just rubs me the wrong way, but if your group is ok with it, you'll be a far more effective trickster with 5 bonus ranks/level than you will with 1.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
And you're a Japanese girl. And you use 3.x. With 15 people.
I just play Pathfinder.
Lord Foul II wrote:
There's still the small problem of you thinking an SLA is a spell.
As long as we're quoting the guide, let me add this:
"Arcane Armor Training- No spell failure chance for casting in light armor, which you are already proficient with. I took a lot of grief for making this blue, but if you want to make it through the low and mid levels, good armor is the cheapest way to help you avoid getting killed before you ever see the higher levels. You can eventually afford to not wear armor when you’re fabulously wealthy. This feat will keep you going while you spend gold on all that other stuff you need to stay alive. The downside is that casting spells with a somatic component in armor costs you a swift action, as does casting a Quickened spell with a feat or a rod.
Once you have the money for a Quicken rod(s), (35,000 or 75,500) and the ring (64,000), and you’re 16th level, you’ll maybe want to say goodbye to the trusty +5 Mithral Shirt (+9 armor AC; 26,100) you’ve had for five levels. You’ll be getting other protective items, too, along the way, none of which are cheap. As a forward scout with the hit points of a sor/wiz +4, you can’t afford to get hit too often.
Starting at 16th level, you could ignore some of the recommended feats, including this one. Mage Armor takes a slot or an item and a standard action, and you won’t have it 24/7. The AT needs his +4 AC up all the time. This guide is about playing an AT at all levels, in the role of a recon specialist, caster, sniper and not-so-infrequent flanker, not just what works starting with a fresh character sheet and 315,000 gp.
If you don’t want that feat, I can see your point. I can also see you dying a lot because your AC could have been 4+ higher from levels 3-10, when other items that raise your AC are still quite costly. Scouting, flanking and spellcasting will be considerably more dangerous for you in the early levels, when you can’t take much of a beating, and your spells can fizzle at random. Just something to think about. It’ll be a long haul before you get your Ph.D. in Arcane Trickery.
And, even once you have a +8 ring, you might want to keep the armor for those sneaky jobs where you don’t want to cast quickened spells, but merely go undetected. The Shadow, greater ability will add +15 to your stealth for 33,750 gp."
It's a matter of how you plan to operate in your party, really.
I say you're a kick-ass scout who just happens to be able to do good damage with the occasional blast. You can focus towards either end of that spectrum. Sorcerers can spam blasts, but don't get nearly as many skill points as wizard ATs, so they're not as good at the scouting.
I show several builds in the guide; some with AAP, some without. For the kick-ass scout, though, you need some serious AC, because your job is to sneak off by yourself, literally looking for trouble.
Looks to me like Xavier has a good build going. He concentrates on feats that make his spells work, which is more important than doing 100d6, only to have it fizzle because you can't beat the SR, or let them save for half because your DC is easy to beat.
My tricksters generally don't do all that much blasting. It's just that when they do, it's gonna hurt! ;)